gabriola garden

Monday, January 05, 2009

Hydroponics needs power--outdoor garden sleeps under snow

Well, so much for my hydroponics experiment! We had a power outage, and since I didn’t have a backup power source, my seedlings perished. We didn’t have any running water, either, since the pipes froze up. We had quite a Christmas—oh, it was white alright, but too white! You can see in the attached pictures that Sara’s garden was covered knee-deep in snow!

No lights, no heat, no water. We had to melt snow over a propane stove in order to get drinking water. Driving to the store was out of the question.

Perhaps it was a good thing. It made us slow down, spend some quality times together reading by flashlight and candlelight. No TV, no computers. And now we have two weeks of constant rain to look forward to, which will melt all the snow and flood everything. Bring out the rubber boots!

I guess I have to add “small generator” to my list of essentials for starting a hydroponics garden. It was so cold indoors, that we could see our breath. No wonder the tender young plants couldn’t survive.

Temperature is another consideration when starting an indoor garden. I bought two Italian style radiator heaters that work with oil heated by electricity. For a small grow space, it would have been enough, if we had a constant supply of power.

Another factor you have to take into account with hydroponics is the pH balance of your nutrient solution. But I discovered on some of the grow forums that Advanced Nutrients has come out with a revolutionary new Grow System called pH—PPM Perfect Technology, which makes it unnecessary to take pH or PPM (parts per million) readings.

The way it works is that their nutrients are covered with a proprietary coating that is attractive to the roots and root hairs. They just gobble up the stuff, regardless of the pH of the nutrient solution. This method compresses the window of absorption from 4.5 on the acidic side and 8.5 on the alkaline side, closer to the 5.6 to 6.3 pH that has been prescribed for AN nutrients in the past.

I am propagating some more vegetables seeds and will give hydroponics another try. And I am seriously looking around for a second-hand generator. To learn more about hydroponics, you will want to check out or some hydroponics blogs with great content that I stumbled across, such as You should also look at some videos like I might switch over to a DWC system (deep water culture) and go back to organic nutrients. I haven’t decided yet.

Labels: , , , , , ,

posted by Tim at 3:11 PM


  • Thanks for mentioning my blog, Tim. I find your blog extremely well done and always fascinating reading. Good luck in your attempts to set up a hydroponic grow space.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:55 AM  

  • Sorry to hear about the hydroponic losses. You might also want to check into a UPS for your pumps. I don't think one would run the lights for very long, but plants can go a lot longer without light than good oxygenated nutrient solution.

    It'd probably be cheaper than a generator, too. Of course the generator will let you fire up the computers and such as well.

    I've been reading rumors about that new AN stuff too... I'm cautiously optimistic about it, but even if it's only half as good as they say it's gonna be pretty sweet!

    By Blogger hugetom80s, at 1:40 PM  

  • Thanks for the post, we will post your Hydroponic gardens solutions article. I will post for our customers to see your articles on your blog Hydroponic gardens solutions

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:05 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home